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And then, when the claim of
immortal manhood is superadded, the inalienable rights of the
soul, in and of themselves, the rights of the reason, the
understanding, the conscience, the will--what desperation is that
which treads down all these claims, and rushes into seats of
higher authority than were ever claimed by the eternal God, and
denies him that right altogether! No white male citizen was ever
born with three ballots in his hand, one his own by birthright,
and to be used without restraint, the others to be granted, given
to women and to colored men at his pleasure or convenience! Such
an idea should never have outraged our common humanity. And any
bill or proposal for what is called "manhood suffrage," while it
ignores womanhood suffrage, whether coming from the President or
the Republican party and sanctioned by the Anti-Slavery Society,
should be repudiated as at war with the whole spirit and genius
of a true Democracy, and a deadly stab into the very heart of
justice itself.

I have referred to the age of the Roman Catholic Church. Lord
Macaulay, in accounting for her astonishing longevity as compared
with other institutions, turns with felicitous insight to female
influence as one of the principal causes. In her system, he says,
she assigns to devout women spiritual functions, dignities, and
even magistracies. In England, if a pious and devout woman enter
the cells of a prison to pray with the most unhappy and degraded
of her sex, she does so without any authority from the Church.
Indeed, the Protestant Church places the ban of its reprobation
on any such irregularity. "At Rome, the Countess of Huntingdon
would have a place in the calendar as St. Selina, and Mrs. Fry
would be Foundress and First Superior of the Blessed Order of
Sisters of the Jails." But even Macaulay overlooks another
element of power and permanence in the economy of the Catholic
Church. God, as Father, and as Son, and as Holy Ghost, might
inspire reverence and dread only in hearts that, at the shrine of
the ever blessed Mary, Mother of God, would kindle into humble,
holy and lasting love. Frances Power Cobbe, though deprecating
the doctrine of "Mariolatry," as she terms the worship of the
Virgin, yet says of it, "The Catholic world has found a great
truth, that love, motherly tenderness and pity is a divine and
holy thing, worthy of adoration.... What does this wide-spread
sentiment regarding this new divinity indicate? It can surely
only point to the fact that there was something lacking in the
elder creed, which, as time went on, became a more and more
sensible deficiency, till at last the instinct of the multitude
filled it up in this amazing manner." When Theodore Parker, in
his morning prayer on a beautiful summer Sunday, addressed the
All-loving as "Our Father and our Mother," he struck a chord
which will one day vibrate through the heart of universal
humanity. It was a thought worth infinitely more than all the
creeds of Christendom.

What if woman should even abuse the use of the ballot at first?
Man has been known to fail at first in a new pursuit. A maker of
microscopes told me that, in a new attempt on a different kind of
object-glass, he failed forty-nine times, but the fiftieth was a
complete success. The poet of Scotland intimates that even
Creative Nature herself improved at a second trial;

"Her 'prentice hand she tried on man;
And then she made the lasses, o!"

Must we be told that woman herself does not ask the ballot? Then
I submit to such, if such there be, the question is not one of
privilege, but of duty--of solemn responsibility. If woman does
not desire the ballot, demand it, take it, she sins against her
own nature and all the holiest instincts of humanity, and can not
too soon repent. After all, the question of suffrage is one of
justice and right. Unless human government be in itself an
unnatural and impious usurpation, whoever renders it support and
submission has a natural right to an equal voice in enacting and
executing the laws. Nor can one man, or millions on millions of
men acquire or possess the power to withhold that right from the
humblest human being of sane mind, but by usurpation, and by
rebellion against the constitution of the moral universe. It
would be robbery, though the giving of the right should induce
all the predicted and dreaded evils of tyrants, cowards and white
male citizens. Be justice done though the heavens fall and the
hells arise! Nay, it is only justice, reared as a lightning-rod,
that can shield any governmental fabric when the very heavens are
falling in righteous retribution.

The past mortality must last among nations, so long as they set
at nought the Divine economy and purpose in their formation. The
human body may yield to decay and die, though the soul be
imperishable and eternal. But nations, like souls, need not die.
Streams of new life flow into them, like rivers into the sea; and
why should not the sea and the nations on its shores, roll on
together with the ages? When governments shall learn to lay their
foundations in righteousness, with eternal justice the chief
corner-stone; when equal and impartial liberty shall be the
acknowledged birthright of all, then will national life begin to
be prolonged; and the death of a nation, were it possible, should
be as though more than a Pleiad had expired. No more would nation
then lift up sword against nation; and the New Jerusalem would
indeed descend from God out of heaven and dwell among men.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY made an appeal for contributions to the funds of
the Association, to enable it to carry on its work, especially in
Kansas.

Mrs ROSE said: After all, we come down to the root of all
evil--to money. It is rather humiliating, after the discourse
that we have just heard, that told us of the rise, and progress,
and destruction of nations, of empires, and of republics, that we
have to come down to dollars and cents. We live in an entirely
practical age. I can show you in a few words that if we only had
sufficient of that root of all evil in our hands, there would be
no need of holding these meetings. We could obtain the elective
franchise without making a single speech. Give us $1,000,000, and
we will have the elective franchise at the very next session of
our Legislature. (Laughter and applause). But as we have not the
$1,000,000 we want 1,000,000 voices. There are always two ways of
obtaining an object. If we had had the money, we could have
bought the Legislature and the elective franchise long before
now. But as we have not, we must create a public opinion, and for
that we must have voices.

I have always thought I was convinced not only of the necessity
but of the great importance of obtaining the elective franchise
for woman; but recently I have become satisfied that I never felt
sufficiently that importance until now. Just read your public
papers and see how our Senators and our members of the House are
running round through the Southern States to hold meetings, and
to deliver public addresses. To whom? To the freedmen. And why
now, and why not ten, fifteen, or twenty years ago? Why do they
get up meetings for the colored men, and call them fellow-men,
brothers, and gentlemen? Because the freedman has that talisman
in his hands which the politician is looking after? Don't you
perceive, then, the importance of the elective franchise? Perhaps
when we have the elective franchise in our hands, these great
senators will condescend to inform us too of the importance of
obtaining our rights.

You need not be afraid that when woman has the franchise, men
will ever disturb her. I presume there are present, as there
always are such people, those of timid minds, chicken-hearted,
who so admire and respect woman that they are dreadfully afraid
lest, when she comes to the ballot-box, rude, uncouth, and vulgar
men will say something to disturb her. You may set your hearts
all at rest. If we once have the elective franchise, upon the
first indication that any man will endeavor to disturb a woman in
her duty at the polls, Congress will enact another Freedman's
Bureau--I beg pardon, a Freedwoman's Bureau--to protect women
against men, and to guard the purity of the ballot-box at the
same time. I have sometimes been asked, even by sensible men, "If
woman had the elective franchise, would she go to the polls to
mix with rude men?" Well, would I go to the church to mix with
rude men? And should not the ballot-box be as respectable, and as
respected, and as sacred as the church? Aye, infinitely more so,
because it is of greater importance. Men can pray in secret, but
must vote in public. (Applause). Hence the ballot-box, of the
two, ought to be the most respected; and it would be if women
were once there; but it never will be until they are there.

Our rights are as old as humanity itself. Yet we are obliged to
ask man to give us the ballot, because he has it in his own hand.
It is ours, and at the same time we ask for it; and have sent our
petitions to Congress. We have been told that the Republic is not
destroyed; it has been destroyed root and branch, because, if it
were not, there would be no need to reconstruct it. And we have
asked Congress, in the reconstruction, to place it upon a sound
foundation. Why have all former republics vanished out of
existence?



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